We’ll always do our best to help you keep your natural teeth. But sometimes there’s no other recourse but to extract a tooth if it’s causing issues that cannot be treated by other means. A tooth may become damaged beyond repair, and no other viable choice remains other than to extract it.
In our office, a tooth extraction is a routine procedure. The whole process is typically uncomplicated and painless. However, the healing process can take longer if the tooth is infected or if you need several teeth extracted.
Usually, we numb the area with a local anesthetic before we extract the teeth. However, that may not be enough in some cases, such as if a wisdom tooth or a large impacted tooth has to be removed. In these cases, we may recommend the use of a general anesthetic. The whole process will still be painless for you, since you’ll be asleep for the whole procedure.
The Benefits of Tooth Extractions
We may recommend that a tooth should be extracted if there’s no other way to treat the damage. The tooth may then have to be pulled out, and a replacement can be set in to help improve the quality of your smile.
There are several good reasons why in some cases a tooth extraction may be the best option:
- Your teeth may be overcrowded, and this can affect your bite. You may even find chewing painful. We can take off the misaligned teeth so that your teeth can get even spacing.
- It reduces the chances of infection. We usually recommend root canal therapy for tooth infections, and in most cases it’s sufficient to get rid of the germs inside your tooth. But the infection can be so severe that the only way to get rid of the infection is to remove the affected tooth.
- Tooth extraction is also often the best option for wisdom teeth, which can come out when you’re between 16 to 25 years old. Wisdom teeth tend to increase the risk of infection, they can be impacted, or they can get trapped under the gums. In most cases, these wisdom teeth bring more harm than good.
Recovering after a Tooth Extraction
Right after the extraction, the dentist will put a gauze pad on the extraction site to help stop the bleeding. If the extraction site is large, it may be necessary to shut the wound with stitches. The stitches are self-dissolving, and they will disappear after a few days on their own.
You should then rest for a while after the procedure. This recover can last a few days or even a few weeks, though this will depend on the complexity of the extraction. To help you recover more quickly, here are a few tips we often offer for our patients:
- Don’t smoke while you’re recuperating.
- Use an ice pack to reduce the swelling.
- Take only soft food items.
- Don’t drink liquids from a straw.
- Try to rest, and don’t do any physical exertions.
- You should still brush your other teeth and your tongue, and you should still floss. Just don’t brush the site of the extraction for the first few days until the wound heals.
If you’re having a toothache, it’s best that you get in touch with us so we can check if a tooth extraction is warranted, or if you require any other treatment.